New Florida Transparency Law Prompts Statewide Resignations

A new law taking effect on January 1st 2024 will require all local elected officials to disclose financial information including their net worth, 401-K plans, and income sources over $1,000. The new rules, which already apply to the governor, lawmakers, county commissioners, school board members, and sheriffs, are an effort to make local government more transparent.

Multiple city mayors and council members in St. Pete beach, Daytona Beach, Naples, and other municipalities across the state have resigned in light of the new law, which requires more financial details to be disclosed on Form 6 than the previous Form 1 required. Some are calling the new law an assault on privacy while others are lauding the ethics of government transparency.

“Look, when you serve in public office, it’s an honor but it also comes with a higher level of transparency and public scrutiny than you would otherwise. And you know, to borrow an old adage — if you can’t take the heat, don’t come in the kitchen.”

State Rep. Spencer Roach (R), North Fort Myers

Supporters of the new law are saying that the increased transparency will help prevent conflicts of interest and corruption. It remains to be seen if opposing claims are true that the law could discourage qualified individuals from seeking public office. The law is meant to place all elected officials in Florida on the same level in regards to ethical scrutiny.